It’s Spring Break in Ontario, which means half my Facebook feed is friends and family posting about sunny days, beaches and hot temperatures (those I choose to ignore). The other half of my friends are posting about sugar shacks and maple syrup festivals. Those I enjoy. As a family, we’ve enjoyed many a trip to the maple syrup farms around us, and this year’s long, cold winter promises a fantastic harvest.
The sap is running and Canadians love their maple treats. Here are some fun maple facts for you.
- Canada is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup, making maple a truly representative taste of our country;
- Maple syrup is a pure, natural food made through a simple, traditional process with no additives;
- Maple syrup’s distinctive flavour is developed during processing by using a careful reduction process that intensifies the flavours of the natural sugars in the sap;
- Some of the common characteristics used to describe maple can include brown or burnt sugar, caramel, toasty, woody, malty, sweet and slightly smoky;
- Like Canada’s other signature products – ice wine and whiskey – some maple producers are taking an artisanal approach to making maple syrup in small batches and even maturing it in bourbon barrels like a fine spirit.
If you won’t make it to a sugar shack yourself, there are still ways to bring that maple flavour home with you. Dempster’s has just introduced a limited edition Maple French Toast Bagel, available at major grocery store chains across Canada and retail for $2.97 – $4.99 each.
Our family loved the Dempster’s Maple French Toast Bagels on their own! Simply toast them to achieve a crispy outside, with a fluffy inside; or take it a step further and spread with a little (salty) butter for that sweet-savory combination that so many Canadians love. Other ways to build on the sweet/savory combo at breakfast would be to add another bagel topper such as: Peameal, bacon or ham, sliced aged Cheddar, thinly sliced tart apple, peanut or almond butter or cream cheese (blended with a little bit of cinnamon).
They’re available only until May 22, so enjoy them now!